Boys to Men Day 5: The Challenge of Being a Husband
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her … husbands should love their wives as their own bodies … For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” (Ephesians 5:25, 28-29, ESV)
Unadulterated bliss. There are moments in life that cannot be described any other way, and I’m thankful to have experienced many. The moment my sins were forgiven. The births of Lexi and Ava. Bringing Lacey home. The list could go on and on. One such moment was hearing those glorious words, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” The day I was married, I distinctly remember floating in the clouds, blissfully unaware of anything going on around me other than the woman at my side. Simply put, it was transcendent. The love of my life, and the woman of my dreams was now my wife! Alongside the joy and bliss, though, I was immediately placed in a position of scriptural and spiritual responsibility. On this subject, the Bible is quite clear, and the role of a husband is not one to be taken lightly. Hopefully, you have been or will be blessed with a wife who makes the role as easy as mine has (and I’m not just saying that, Cindy).
The first area of responsibility is the most serious: the husband is the head of the home. No, that doesn’t mean he’s the boss or a control freak (and neither should his wife be). When Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV) that “the head of the woman is the man,” he is specifically noting the order of creation according to God. And in doing so, Paul (and God) points to the man. As a husband and/or a father, you are the responsible head of your home and family. Keep that in mind as you approach the idea of married life. You are responsible to God for the home and family you intend to build, and you should be the spiritual leader. It’s a role not to be taken lightly.
A man who takes the role and responsibility seriously will comb through the Bible to find out what his further responsibilities are as a husband. The verses quoted above are the most well known, and they pack a punch. Second to being the head of the home, our greatest responsibility is laid out in Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Wow! Just think about that for a minute or two; I’ll wait. Christ, who sacrificed Himself for me, is my example as a husband. My responsibility is, then, to sacrifice for her. Whose needs will I consider first—hers or mine? This passage tells me that sacrifice must be a regular part of my life. I must be careful to not allow recreation and other things to monopolize the time and attention that belong to my wife. But there’s even more here. Paul says we must “cherish” and “nourish” her, because this is what Christ does for the church as well. This is clearly a responsibility and is not optional. Jesus cherishes and places a tremendous value on us. A husband must treat his wife with that same care. She is to be valued, cherished, and loved beyond all other. What does it mean to nourish her? Well, how does Christ nourish us? He provides everything we need! He gives us spiritual food and spiritual water through His Word and His Holy Spirit. What would we do without Him? We would starve and thirst, spiritually speaking. We should do that for our wives! We should provide them love, care, spiritual guidance, and support. We should be kind to them, as Paul notes in Colossians 3:19 (“do not be harsh with them”). We should be understanding and listen to them, as Peter points out in 1 Peter 3:7 (“live with your wives in an understanding way”).
If I could simply sum things up, I would say our responsibilities are, namely, threefold. We should lead them, love them, and like them. If you’re anything like me, those last two are the easy ones. I love my wife, and I’m happy to tell you about it! But I also like her—there is a difference! I like spending time with her and sharing the life that God has given us together! But the most important one is also the most difficult. To be a truly godly husband, I have to be the true leader as He desires. Only then will I fulfill the role. Only then will I be the husband my wife deserves.